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Mikhail is in prison

Published February 9th, 2021 by Bobby Henderson

Bad news — our friend Mikhail Iosilevich has been arrested and has been taken to prison.

Mikhail founded the first Church of FSM in Russia. The group he organized is very active, and by all measures a positive influence in the community. I remember many times seeing photos of their activities and being impressed with what he had put together.

You may remember Mikhail had been under investigation by the Russian government for some time. After Mikhail hosted a training session for election observers in October 2020, his apartment was raided and his devices confiscated. He was charged with ties to the banned political group Open Russia (something Mikhail denies). The criminal case has been moving along since that time.

Police opening the apartment by force

Mikhail is now in prison on political charges.

I don’t know what we can do, but for a start we’re asking people to help spread the word. The more attention we can bring to the case, the better his chances for justice.

Below are some news articles about the case. Some are in Russian but can be translated through the browser.

Please let me know if you can offer any help or suggestions and I will pass them on to Mikhail’s team.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/russias-flying-spaghetti-monster-chief-22837053

https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4671899

Here are some google news listings for this topic:

https://bit.ly/3tLTX59

Photos of Mikhail:

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Happy new year

Published January 1st, 2021 by Bobby Henderson

artwork by Gail

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The Holiday e-Card machine is alive

Published December 20th, 2020 by Bobby Henderson

Please make use of the FSM Holiday e-Card machine to send greetings to your friends and family this season. It’s up here: e-Card machine.

There are a few designs. This one is my favorite and historically has prompted the most salty comments from recipients:

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Russian FSM Leader Arrested

Published October 14th, 2020 by Bobby Henderson
Mikhail Iosilevich at the Temple of the Macaroni Monster

I need to share some sad and disturbing news: the Russian government is persecuting some of our fellow Pastafarians.

The head of Russia’s Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Mikhail Iosilevich, has been arrested. His computers, phones, and passport have been seized, and access to his bank accounts have been blocked.

Mikhail fought for – and won – the right to wear a Colander in his license photo

Mikhail has been charged with working with a democratic opposition group, Open Russia, that was outlawed by Putin’s government. He is being investigated for allegedly hosting lectures for independent election monitors, held at the premises of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, last month.

A number of “witnesses to these activities” have been targeted for investigation by the State. They have been questioned, and have had their homes searched.

One of the associates who was targeted was Mikhail’s friend Irina Slavina, a journalist and activist. Her home was raided by government investigators and armed police in the early morning a few weeks ago. Tragically, it was the last straw for Irina. She had felt bullied by the oppressive authoritarian government for years. The day after her home was raided, she died after settting herself on fire in front of the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, a final act of protest. She was 47 years old.

Flowers and rememberances of Irina, at the Interior Ministry

I am in contact with Mikhail’s people in Russia. They have asked for our fellow Pastafarians to spread the word of these events. With international attention, it will be more difficult for the authoritarian government to unjustly imprison Mikhail and subject Pastafarians and free-thinkers to intimidation and persecution.

Irina Slavina and Mikhail Iosilevich at the Temple of the Macaroni Monster

Below are a few articles that explain what has been happening.

  • This BBC article is about Irina’s last few days and the events that caused her to take her own life. Here.
  • This The Times article explains about Mikhail’s recent arrest. Here

Please spread the word if you can, and let’s figure out what we can do to help.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster strongly condemns the intimidation and persecution of Pastafarians and free-thinkers.

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Kiva Team Reaches 5 Million

Published October 1st, 2020 by Bobby Henderson

Our Kiva team just reached $5 Million in funding for projects in developing countries. Thanks and congratulations everyone. We’re still the #1 religious congregation lending team (Eat it, Mormons).

Please join us here.

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So Help Me, Flying Spaghetti Monster – Newsweek article

Published August 16th, 2020 by Bobby Henderson
6600Pastafarian Niko Alm looking good in Newsweek

I wanted to share this Newweek article about Mike Arthur’s Church of the FSM documentary I, Pastafari. It’s great.

“They’re asking the question: Why does it matter if I believe in Thor or God or Allah or Poseidon or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or no god at all? Why does that impact my rights? Why does that impact my freedoms? Why in a secular democracy does that matter? Why are we not treated equally?” Arthur said. “It’s impossible to prove or disprove a real religion.”

The irony of releasing the film in the midst of a pandemic as people are debating the science surrounding facts isn’t lost on Arthur. “Right now in the U.S., science is treated almost as another belief system,” he said. “We have a global pandemic right now, but people won’t listen to experts, because a too-large-to-ignore population of the country thinks that science is just an opinion, and Pastafarianism was really created based on this idea, based on exposing this false-equivalency.”

You can read the article here.

The documentary is streaming now on Amazon Prime (rentals), Google Play, and others.

I, Pastafari documentary now available for streaming

Published July 7th, 2020 by Bobby Henderson

Great news, the Church of the FSM documentary I, Pastafari by Mike Arthur is now available for streaming on iTunes / Amazon / Google Play.

I was pleased with the way the film came out. Mike did an amazing job on a subject that is tricky to describe. The reviews have been great — people seem to get the message of the film (and maybe the Church of FSM in general).

Newsweek covered the film:

The irony of releasing the film in the midst of a pandemic as people are debating the science surrounding facts isn’t lost on Arthur. “Right now in the U.S., science is treated almost as another belief system,” he said. “We have a global pandemic right now, but people won’t listen to experts, because a too-large-to-ignore population of the country thinks that science is just an opinion, and Pastafarianism was really created based on this idea, based on exposing this false-equivalency.”

Read the full Newsweek article here

The Hollywood Reporter also put up a review:

I, Pastafari feels little urge to become a full-blown doc about church and state, and who can blame it? Like its heroes, it walks a fine line between pointing out the ridiculousness of the world’s creation myths and not wanting to insult those who use faith to aid and comfort their fellow humans. Given how often godlessness is repped by insufferably smug folks like Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais, it’s a relief to see the same points made by mild-mannered folk willing to sit in front of judges and lawmakers wearing salad strainers on their heads.

Read the full Hollywood Reporter article here

You can watch a clip from the film here:

To watch the documentary, you can go onto iTunes / Amazon Prime / Google Play and search “I, Pastafari”.

Direct link to the Amazon Prime Rental is here

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